Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE)

15th March 2000

In attendance:
Dr Hany Tatwany (Chair - Saudi Arabia), Mr Pieter Botha (South Africa) , Dr Kanjana Nitaya (Thailand), Mr Charles Evans (Thailand), Dr Susan Lieberman (USA), Dr Richard Ruggiero (USA), Dr Jim Armstrong (Secretariat), Dr Malan Lindeque (Secretariat), Mr Nigel Hunter (Rapporteur).

Dr Hany Tatwany welcomed participants and the agenda was confirmed as follows : action items ; ToRs for the Technical Advisory Group ; Funding ; Progress Reports ; MIKE Web Site ; AOB.

1. Action Items (as provided in 26th September record):
Item 1. Contact arrangements discussed with Burkino Faso at SC 42. Done but the participation of Burkino Faso in the Teleconference was still proving impossible

Item 2. Secretariat attendance at S.E. Asia Pilot meeting with follow up visits to Range States. Done (see progress report below)

Item 3. Obtain Donor funds for S.E. Asia Pilot. See funding report below.

Item 4. Secretariat to undertake central co-ordination and negotiation of pilot funding. Done.

Item 5. Secretariat to set up and maintain central information system re MIKE contributions. Done

Item 6. Secreatariat to reflect pilot and subregional processes in funding startegy. Done.

Item 7. Secretariat to submit proposal to EC by end October. Done (see funding report below).

Item 8. IUCN to provide data protocols reflecting issues recorded in July minutes. The Secretariat reported that IUCN were interpreting the requirement of MOU item 3f differently to the Subgroup. IUCN believe that by raising the issues of data protocols, they were flagging their difficulty/reluctance in following through with this part of the MOU. It was agreed that the Secretariat would develop an alternative formal process for progressing this issue and would submit ToRs for the Subgroup's endorsement.

Item 9. Obtain funding as soon as possible for the CCU. See progress report below.

Item 10. Rapporteur to request CIC (France) to contact Secretariat directly. Done but no contact has been made as yet.

ToRs for the Technical Advisory Group (TAG):
The Secretariat suggested that it was timely now to establish a MIKE Technical Advisory Group (TAG). Drafted Terms of Reference were submitted to the Subgroup for approval.

The ToRs were then discussed by the Subgroup and the following points were agreed :

  • In order to ensure that TAG expertise would cover as widely as possible the skills required, the Secretariat would provide, in brackets under section 2a, examples of the type of specialists that should be considered. The USA kindly agreed to work with the Secretariat on this drafting.
  • In seeking nominations, the Secretariat would clarify that such nominations could cover socio-economic skills and could, for certain skills, include persons with little elephant experience, per se.
  • The Secretariat confirmed that they would, indeed wanted, to use TAG for 'a priori' consultation re field testing.

The Subgroup also confirmed the following nomination processes :

  • The Secretariat would send out to all 54 Range States and to IUCN a request for suitable nominations.
  • The Secretariat would then scrutinise the nominations and provide the Subgroup with the total list, cross-referenced to their area of skill, in conjunction with Secretariat recommendations for Subgroup approval. Where this process had left area and/or skill gaps, the Secretariat would make its own nominations (to be indicated as such) for consideration by the Subgroup. If gaps still persisted, then the Secretariat would request the Subgroup for nominations.
  • The initial term for appointment to TAG would be 2 years, but given that MIKE development was scheduled to be done over a 6 year period, new nominations or extensions would be processed under the nomination procedures agreed here.

It was also clarified that TAG would work to the Secretariat who would refer decisions to the Subgroup, representing the Standing Committee, as mandated by COP 10. However in order to have an open and transparent process, it was agreed that TAG ToRs, as agreed by the Subgroup, together with explantory text should be put on the CITES web site as soon as possible. This should then be followed up by placing the formation of TAG and its subsequent workings on the web-site as a regular routine. This would have the benefit of using the web site as a forum for external comment and criticism on MIKE protocols and processes, which could be referred to TAG for consideration and comment.

The Subgroup concluded by requesting the Secretariat to incorporate the agreed changes to the ToRs, place them on the web and start the TAG formation process, using the procedures agreed above.

2. MIKE Funding:
The Secretariat reported that they had submitted to the EC by 31st October 1999, a proposal for funding MIKE with $8million over 6 years. Due to budget limitations and other administrative procedures, the EC had come back with a request that the Secretariat resubmit for $4 million over 3 years. This was done in November. However the EC were now requesting that the proposal be reworked again by excluding Asia for the time being, as there was no money under the current Asia budget lines. It is therefore likely that approval will be forthcoming by June 2000 for c.$4 million over 3 years for Africa. Because of the extra time required on the EC process and the need to prepare for COP 11, proposals for the World Bank and the GEF have not yet been packaged.

Nevertheless other welcome financial support had been forthcoming and this was reflected in the table provided in paragraph 22 of Doc 11.31.2. This was welcomed by the Subgroup, with a small proviso from the US. Whilst the US was committed to providing funds for the S.E.Asia pilot, the figure in the table could only be regarded as indicative at this stage.

3. Progress Reports: 
4.1 1S.E. Asia
The Bangkok meeting had received overwhelming support from all participants, including a commitment to participate in the S.E.Asia pilot, with a strong desire to use established regional institutions. Accordingly there was now a developed S.E.Asia programme with a supporting funding proposals. The main problem faced was in site selection, but this was thought to be readily solveable.

4.2 W. Africa
The West African regional meeting was held in Ghana in December 1999. All attending countries want to take part, but there was recognition that it was not possible to include everyone in the pilot phase due to budget constraints. The agreement therefore was to concentrate on the cross-border populations with 8 sites being indicated. Accordingly, the programme and budget details were under preparation.

4.3 S. Africa
A MIKE workshop was held during November 1999 in Namibia. This was attended by Botswana, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe. The 4 countries are committed to using funds derived from the auctions to fully implementing MIKE in each of their countries, with Namibia providing the co-ordination. Mozambique and Zambia will be invited to the capacity building workshop and it is the intention to support these two range states as fully as possible within the region. Implementation is therefore under way, with no external funding needed.

4.4 CCU
The Central Co-ordinating Unit had not evolved as planned, particularly as the funding was lacking and did not seem to be very forthcoming, except a small contribution from Japan. The Secretariat had therefore taken over the CCU role at its own expense and was therefore currently providing all central co-ordination. The money from Japan was being used to further the S.E. Asia programme and budget proposal.

5. MIKE Web Site
The Secretariat would like to develop the CITES web site further with MIKE and ETIS information. The ETIS information is under way and the MIKE section has been set up with the provision of Doc 11.31.2. However the Secretariat has held back on the MIKE section, due to an IUCN request that current protocols are not listed until they have received TAG endorsement. Given that TAG will take at least a minimum of two months to set up, the Secretariat would like a Subgroup decision on whether the existing protocols, with suitable caveats, should go on the web site or await TAG scrutiny and endorsement? If the decision was to go ahead now rather than wait, then the Secretariat believed the information would be available before COP 11. The Subgroup was unanimous in its desire to get the information available as soon as possible, with proper caveats that the information was in draft form and may indeed change. This would be particularly advantageous in getting the web site seen as a forum of communication on MIKE with the Secretariat better able to consider and process comments. The Subgroup therefore instructed the Secretariat to get the protocols onto the web site straight away with proper accompanying caveats. It was agreed that the US and the Secretariat would draft the appropriate language for the caveats and that this would be placed on the web site under Subgroup authority.

6. Any Other Business:
The next Range State Dialogue Meeting is scheduled for the 6th and 7th April at UNEP HQ in Kenya. Invitations, including to contributing donors, are being finalised. The Secretariat will have documentation available for facilitating discussions re MIKE and other CITES matters. The Standing Committee meeting would take place on the 8th April.

7. Next Meeting:
No date was set for the next Subgroup meeting.

8. Conclusion:
The Chairman then concluded the meeting by thanking members for their active participation, notwithstanding the early problems of telephone echo.

Action Items


Develop an alternative formal process for progressing data handling and ownership issue and submit ToRs for the Subgroup's endorsement [Secretariat].




Provide, in brackets, under section 2a of TAG ToRs, examples of the type of specialists that should be considered [USA/Secretariat].




Incorporate the agreed changes to the ToRs, place them on the web and start the TAG formation process, using the procedures agreed above [Secretariat].




Under Subgroup authority, put existing protocols onto the web site straight away with proper accompanying caveats [USA/Secretariat].